Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Love Failure

 I'm glad you stopped by! Let me ask you a question. Have you ever failed? It could be anything from a recipe to a relationship. While you are thinking about that I wanted to share  one of my own experiences with failure.

A few years ago, one of my boys asked me to run a half marathon with him. I'll admit I did not really want to, but my desire to not miss an opportunity with him was greater than not wanting to run. So I said "Yes!" I had run a couple of half marathons before, so I figured getting ready for one more really wouldn't be that difficult. I had a seven mile loop that I jogged about three days a week and decided that would be fine. Long story short, I made it to race day, and that training program proved not to be so "fine!" I felt good to begin with, but when I got to mile seven my legs were done. I think training a single distance for two months was not the best plan. I can't begin to tell you how difficult the next six miles were for me. I can look back now and laugh, but that day at that moment, I was an emotional wreck! I struggled with fear for about a mile and then moved into anger about  mile eight. At mile nine I tried motivational self talk. Honestly, from mile ten to twelve I cried uncontrollably. At mile thirteen when I crossed the finish line, I was physically sick. Yes, I finished the race, but I failed that day. I could have blamed the freezing temperatures or the crowded race course, but at the end of the day the fault was mine. I did not train, and I failed.

I believe with every failure there is a lesson learned and a reward gained. I learned so many things about myself that day out on that race course. Most importantly, I took responsibility for my failure to train and learned from my mistakes. The following year I signed up for the same race and trained well and crossed the finish line in less time and with a smile on my face.

The point is we learn from our failures. It is a good thing, and yet we refuse to let our children fail. Why is that? When our children are young we teach them and train them and fill their little "bag" full of wisdom and instruction. We train moral behavior and Godly character. We teach them to think and equip them to be able to choose right from wrong. We fill their hearts with all these tools so when they enter the teen years they are ready to face new challenges and adventures. However, so often we as parents deny our children  the privilege of failing. For example, if a child forgets his homework we rush it to the school so they won't suffer the consequences. (Imagine if we'd let them suffer a "zero" they might not forget that homework again) Think of a time you failed and the invaluable wisdom you gained from that experience. Don't deny your child failure.

2 Corinthians 12:9 " 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

For my child to know Jesus like that, I have to let go and know His grace is sufficient. He is enough!                                                  Love love love Ruthie



  1. First of all... GOOD FOR YOU! And I agree.. and have always agreed, that failure is a good teacher. Some of us need it because we think we know everything... (me). So I get a regular dose of failure, and it spurs me on to achieve more! And you... running the half marathon with a smile on your face... I can just see it...

  2. Very well said! I have often thought about this same concept but I've never been able to express it so beautifully. I chuckled as I read because I thought... if we learn from our failures, I should be VERY wise by now!!
    Thank you for sharing your insight.